February 2020 Snapshots: Peernet Group Hosts Supplier Forum At PPAI Headquarters

In November, PPAI hosted a meeting of the Peernet Group (above photo), a group of 18 promotional products distributors, at its Irving, Texas, headquarters.

The Peernet Group’s Supplier Forum brought together its CEO and its supplier task force—consisting of seven Peernet distributor principals and executives, and senior management from six of Peernet’s preferred supplier partners—for two days of roundtable discussions on a wide range of industry topics.



Orbus Exhibit & Display Group partnered with the American Red Cross to host its first blood drive on November 11. The drive was coordinated by Orbus’ Social and Cultural Committee (OSCC). The OSCC plans a number of events throughout the year in support of Orbus’s philanthropic efforts including various fundraisers, an annual Toys for Tots drive and more.

More than 30 Orbus employees participated in the drive at its Woodridge, Illinois, headquarters.



The Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA) participated in the Junior Achievement Journey to Jobs Program in Pontiac, Michigan, this past November to educate attendees on the promotional products industry and the job opportunities within it.

Participating in the event were (from left) MiPPA Past President Dave DeWitt, who explained the overall scope of the industry; President Sarah Merrill, who spoke on her career path; former MiPPA Board Member Sue Kinch, who shared the six types of jobs that her business provides and the earning capabilities of various positions, and Vice President Sandra Kelley, who described the creative outlet the industry offers.


In November, the Specialty Advertising Association of California’s (SAAC) SAAC Foundation held its annual Jim Buescher Memorial Golf Tournament at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena. The SAAC Foundation’s mission is to grant scholarships to the family of SAAC members to promote professional, academic or artistic achievement in post-secondary education.

The SAAC Foundation’s golf tournament raised more than $15,000 for children’s scholarships benefiting family members of SAAC, including the Jim Buescher Scholarship.


The Georgia Association Of Promotional Products Professionals (GAPPP) sponsored and participated in The Fairy Tale Dash in November in Suwannee, Georgia. The 5K and 10K fun run, held at Chattahoochee Pointe Park, benefits Jesse’s House, an emergency shelter for at-risk girls, ages 7-17, that was originally known as the Forsyth County Youth Shelter and founded in 1998. Jesse’s House has served more than 900 female youth from over 21 counties in Georgia. Not only did GAPPP have runners at the event, it was a platinum sponsor and donated GAPPP-branded pens, bag tags and note pads for the runners’ grab bags to be collected at the finish line.

Among GAPPP’s participants were Lake Tankersley, incoming GAPPP president (right), who finished 10th in the 5K overall results, and Amy Rabideau, MAS, GAPPP past president and RAC Delegate, donned her best Minnie Mouse ears and tutu for the costume contest.


In December, commonsku, a business management software provider, held its first commonsku Dev Summit at its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario.

Top technical executives from SanMar, Hit Promotional Products, Starline, alphabroder and Gemline worked alongside commonsku’s development team to further integrate supplier systems with the commonsku platform using PromoStandards. Summit attendees also worked on recommendations to enhance PromoStandards specifications that will benefit the industry by reducing friction between suppliers and distributors.


The Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA) raised $1,100 for the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) through its Buddy Bear campaign honoring the memory of PPAI legend and Hall of Famer Fran Ford. The association previously donated bears to Safe Haven in Grand Rapids, a shelter for abused women and their children.

On Giving Tuesday, December 3, MiPPA Immediate Past President Jane Mitchell, MAS, (center left) delivered a case of the bears to Ele’s Place, Capitol Region in Lansing. Ele’s Place provides grief counseling for children and teens who have experienced traumatic losses such as the death of a parent.


In December, employees from Polyconcept North America (PCNA), parent company of industry supplier brands Leed’s (PPAI 112361, S13), Bullet (PPAI 113079, S12), Journalbooks (PPAI 110769, S10) and Trimark (PPAI 198982, S10), donated four school busloads of toys during the annual 96.1 KISS FM Stuff-A-Bus event, which benefits the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots program.

Twenty-five PCNA employees, including Polyconcept CEO Neil Ringel, delivered more than 1,000 toys on 13 pallets. The donation was reportedly one of the largest in the history of the annual holiday event.


On December 3, Geiger celebrated Giving Tuesday by donating to local nonprofits in the Lewiston, Maine, community, where it is headquartered. Geiger associates donated 1,165 pairs of new socks and 753 pairs of new underwear as part of the first Toasty Toes & Tushies clothing drive. These were donated to The Store Next Door Project at Lewiston High School, part of the McKinney‐Vento Homeless Education Program, and Kaydenz Kitchen, also based in Lewiston.  

“This cause is immensely important,” says Jo‐an Lantz, MAS, president and CEO of Geiger. “The need for basics (socks and undergarments) is great because so many of us don’t think to donate them. I am very proud of the generosity of our associates. Participating in Giving Tuesday with this drive has had a profound impact on us all.”


James Khattak is news editor of PPB.

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